Suzuki Proposes a War on Cars

David Suzuki notes “In railing against everything from bike lanes to transit spending, pundits and politicians often raise the spectre of a “war on cars.” Of course, there is no war on cars — but there should be.”

I am not a 100% supporter of Suzuki’s. I think his take on Fukushima was terribly irresponsible. (In his defense, he regrets it.) But here, he makes a compelling case:

Even with today’s improved fuel standards, only about 15 per cent of the energy from each litre of fuel burned is used to move the vehicle, which typically weighs 10 to 20 times more than the passenger(s) it carries. That translates to about a one per cent efficiency to move those passengers.

Although we can’t stop using cars altogether, we can curtail their damage to people and the environment. We can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting back on car use, choosing fuel-efficient vehicles, joining a car pool or sharing program and reducing speed. At the policy level, we need increased investment in public transit and cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, stronger fuel-efficiency standards, reduced speed limits, higher gas taxes and human-centric urban design.

Besides combatting pollution and climate change, reduced dependency on private automobiles will lead to healthier people, fewer deaths and injuries and livable cities with happier citizens. And that’s worth fighting for!

Comments:

  1. Pingback: Suzuki Proposes a War on Cars | Planet3.0 | My Website

  2. The meaning of "At the policy level" must, I think, imply spending public money.

    But on what? "Public transit and cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, stronger fuel-efficiency standards, reduced speed limits ... human-centric urban design."

    From that list I have elided "higher gas taxes", because they would increase public money, not tap it.

    They would increase public money if and only if all the fossil fuel conservation measures in the list were done half- or quarter-heartedly, or not done, or done with deliberate sabotage aimed at making them negatively effective. But because the long-term income prospects of the very people making and interpreting the rules, the rules on how they shall be done, depend quite a bit on whether government continues to make a few percent of its money on fossil fuels, that is just how they would be done, and just how they always have been done.

    The idea that public oil and gas income controls the minds of those who receive it, much as that parasite that cycles between cats and rats is said to control the latter's minds, and -- as a side effect -- the minds of humans who like cats, explains not just the weak enforcement of existing speed limits, but Suzuki's Fukushima blunder and subsequent "notpology".

  3. It is worth noting that in the early part of the 20th century a vital and effective rail system was replaced wholesale by roads. A hundred years later, there is a concerted attempt to repurpose a northeast US rail corridor for the delivery of fossil fuels (pipelines etc.) and heavy goods to the northeast (Portland Maine).

    Everywhere we turn, we see good intentions turned back by PR and greed that does its best to ignore and distract from a proper accounting of cause and effect.

    I picked one of a group of firebreathing (and largely correct) items here, and one from Vermont. Not a good sign, all this:

    http://www.tarsandsfreene.org/blog/maine-voices-unconventional-crude-too-big-risk-to-be-piped-through-maine

    http://vtdigger.org/2013/07/18/vermonters-and-allies-to-walk-route-of-potential-tar-sands-pipeline/


Click here to show comments that that do not meet our comment policy

  1. What about a war on Wind Turbines, Solar and Biofuel which do much more harm to the environment than cars could ever do.

    Birds going up in smoke at Ivanpah solar project
    http://mydesert.co/1gFYQhS
    http://notrickszone.com/2014/03/25/analysis-shows-solar-modules-cause-more-greenhouse-gas-emissions-than-modern-coal-power-plants/

    Forests being chopped down for biofuel
    http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/11/oil-palm-expands-on-deforested-land-in-brazils-rainforest/
    http://e360.yale.edu/slideshow/swedens_green_veneer_hides_unsustainable_logging/32/2/
    http://youtu.be/e9Jh6z0HPAI
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/100114-haiti-earthquake-landslides/
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/tree-theft-on-the-rise-in-germany-as-heating-costs-increase-a-878013.html
    http://greece.greekreporter.com/2012/01/24/greeks-fell-trees-for-warmth-amid-economic-chill/

    Wind Turbines killing thousands of birds and bats
    http://notrickszone.com/2014/03/28/stunning-absurdity-from-germanys-wind-energy-feed-in-act-wind-park-operators-earn-the-most-when-turbines-are-idle/
    http://notrickszone.com/2013/08/19/german-report-confirms-its-worse-than-we-thought-wind-parks-killing-far-more-wildlife/

    and for what? CO2 emissions going up after dumping billions down the toilet on renewables.
    http://notrickszone.com/2014/04/08/100-billion-euros-for-nothing-germanys-co2-emissions-havent-dropped-in-10-years/

    How the Global Warming Scare Began http://youtu.be/SyUDGfCNC-k

  2. How the Global Warming Scare Began http://youtu.be/SyUDGfCNC-k

    Climate Alarmists and their ilk (not cars) are the real planet destroyer

    Birds going up in smoke at Ivanpah solar project
    http://mydesert.co/1gFYQhS
    http://notrickszone.com/2014/03/25/analysis-shows-solar-modules-cause-more-greenhouse-gas-emissions-than-modern-coal-power-plants/

    Forests being chopped down for biofuel
    http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/11/oil-palm-expands-on-deforested-land-in-brazils-rainforest/
    http://e360.yale.edu/slideshow/swedens_green_veneer_hides_unsustainable_logging/32/2/
    http://youtu.be/e9Jh6z0HPAI
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/100114-haiti-earthquake-landslides/
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/tree-theft-on-the-rise-in-germany-as-heating-costs-increase-a-878013.html
    http://greece.greekreporter.com/2012/01/24/greeks-fell-trees-for-warmth-amid-economic-chill/

    Wind Turbines killing thousands of birds and bats
    http://notrickszone.com/2014/03/28/stunning-absurdity-from-germanys-wind-energy-feed-in-act-wind-park-operators-earn-the-most-when-turbines-are-idle/
    http://notrickszone.com/2013/08/19/german-report-confirms-its-worse-than-we-thought-wind-parks-killing-far-more-wildlife/

    and for what? CO2 emissions going up after dumping billions down the toilet on renewables.
    http://notrickszone.com/2014/04/08/100-billion-euros-for-nothing-germanys-co2-emissions-havent-dropped-in-10-years/

Click here to close shadow comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.